Alongside the ever-evolving circumstances of pandemic-generated social-distancing measures, and the hyper-commodification of art, there is great concern for the maintenance and progression of art institutions and museums around the world. We have most definitely seen an increase in the digital databases of art in the first half of 2020, in terms of online exhibitions, virtual walkthroughs, as well as the screenings of archived films and documentaries that were not previously accessible online. In some ways, while this currently unavoidable move to hyper-digitisation is an attempt to broaden accessibility to the arts, it also accentuates the continual tendencies for some artists or institutions to lean towards a sense of temporality – to maintain some sort of control over what they’re presenting – by only making exhibitions, broadcasts and live transmissions available for a limited period of time. Little is of full open access. Either way, I believe that corporeal, tangible practice is and never will be redundant within the art world.
It is in response to this context that the POSTgallery initiates.
Intended as a project to hijack public space and force an ‘injection of culture’ into the immediate environment of the small town of Lenzie’s public, POSTgallery attempts to navigate past the conventional gallery system, to accentuate the capacities of contemporary art in the public realm, without a specific, designated space to do so. Operating through an open-call format, POSTgallery asks for submissions of artworks that will then be displayed in various unsuspecting spaces around the town – such as low-lying walls, walkways, bins, and electricity or broadband generators. With each print pasted, is paired a small ‘plaque’, which details the name of the project, and directs you to its online presence. Through looking on the POSTgallery’s Instagram page, (@thepostgallery) a viewer is able to filter through the open-ended archive of installed works, which are tagged with the contributing artist, as well as the co-ordinates of where each work is situated. Hopefully this will offer some sort of engagement from the public, to actively seek out other artists, thus promoting their own culture.
The POSTgallery does in some ways appropriate the operating systems of the conventional gallery i.e. using open calls, title plaques, an online Instagram page, possible ‘virtual’ artist talks. However, it is intended primarily to address and promote wider accessibility, autonomy and participation within the arts, when public art institutions become increasingly privatised, inaccessible or entirely defunct. What’s more, the model used to construct POSTgallery is uncomplicated and can be easily applied to other towns and cities, which can be democratically co-ordinated by an individual or group of people.
If you wish to find out more or participate, please contact the artist.